Today, I want to stop moaning and take stock of the fortunes I am blessed with. There are many and Friday is my new got-to-day for giving thanks at the “Celebrate the Small Things” meme.
What is it with life that places blinkers on us?
We no longer smell the roses, hear the melody of our surroundings, give bear-hugs to a deserving torso or kiss grateful cheeks. We forget to appreciate the good in our tiny worlds, buried beneath the burdens we all to often place upon ourselves… unnecessarily. And we forget to see our own successes, even when they’re staring us in the face.
I’m no exception.
I’ve been stressing so much about being some kind of indie author super-hero, that I’ve pretty-much failed at most of the tasks I’ve stressed over. My husband (oh so patiently) suggested I learn to focus on one job at a time, noting that I open so many tabs across the computer screen and flit from one to the other, answering emails, commenting, Tweeting, updating status, querying review requests and book tour commitments, formatting, re-formatting my MS, visiting GIMP and other photo editing suits creating book covers, checking sales (or lack there-of) on far too many online distributors, and well… you get the idea, the list goes on.
Hubby asked, “What have you achieved today?” I thought over my days’ work; I had made a start on so many things, but by spreading myself so thinly, I’d actually completed nothing. I moaned to him about having an unfairly limited attention span because we’ve entertained four months worth of house-guests (and been on holiday ourselves). I protested that he had no idea what he was talking about; he doesn’t have the stresses of being a self-published author (along with the million other roles and commitments that it brings, other than simply writing.
He just has to fly people around the world for a living!).
He sighed, admitted defeat and gave me that, “There is no point talking to you when you’re like this!” face. Then he went for a bath (he likes long hot ones, probably to escape the atmosphere of anxiety I often pollute our environment with) which left me with space and time to think about what he’d said.
I decided I needed to look around, take time-out from full on blogging etc. for a while. I had to step out of my busy, often spread too thinly, unproductive self, and really look at myself. He was, of course, utterly correct.
Trouble was, I felt like I should have been able to do everything.
Other’s seemed capable of achieving the impossible, and they did so incredibly well. Why couldn’t I? What was the answer? I asked myself, “Do they have secretaries? Do they out-source everything other than writing?” And well, some do, some don’t. What they had in common however, was their focus. They did not run around like a cat on crack (whatever that looks like?).
I needed something or someone to show me the way
Then, Sunday evening, our house guests returned from their final day/evening out here, and seemed excited to tell me something. I sighed, feeling exhausted – not with them, but with my own seemingly unending list of duties and frustrations – I looked at them wearily, preparing to listen to tales of their day. Instead, they said, “Shah, guess what we looked at today?”
I shrugged, frowned. “Dunno?”I berated myself for being so unenthusiastic – again!
“Your reviews for Finding Esta are awesome! Well done.”
I fidgeted, realising I’d forgotten all about them. How did I do that?
They gushed, “You must be so proud?” Their eyebrows raised in expectation.
A warm glow rose up from my belly. I smiled, genuinely, gulped down a little pride and tried not to let it show. Then, moments later, once alone again, I took another look at those reviews. Surprised, exhilarated and empowered, I felt as I should have done originally. A renewed sense of appreciation for the most important role in all this indie business – Writer – resurfaced. Then I realised that if I do stumble, or even fail (or simply complete, instead of master) any of the other roles required, like Marketer, Blogger, Social media mogul, Publicist, or Publisher, it won’t mean a damn thing if I don’t write.
None of it matters without the words.
So, thanks to my hubs, to our lovely guests, and to all those incredible reviewers, I have looked at my ‘commitments’ anew. It’s time to climb onboard the re-write bus and steer clear of multi-tabbed computer screens. It’s time to admit and accept my own limitations, and to focus on what’s really important. It’s time to achieve something, one thing at a time.
It’s time to removed the blinkers!
Does this ring true for you? Are you frazzled, over-committed, stretched to breaking point? Then look around you… your successes are staring you in the face. Smell those roses. 🙂
This post is for VikLit‘s blog hop/meme – Celebrate the Small Things. To participate, follow the link and pop your name on the Mr.Linky list. Then remember to post every Friday about something special, something which makes you grateful.
Go take a look – It’s FUN and reminds you to appreciate something about your world or yourself, at least once a week!